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keefnet

Skywatcher 200P GOTO Dobsonian, or non-GOTO

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As mentioned in my posts from yesterday and today, I've had great feedback on my decision making and concluded on the 200p, but now prepared to push my budget if this is a good choice; Skywatcher Skyliner 200P GOTO Dobsonian Telescope, but is that a bad idea? I think not as it provides the Dobsonian manual capability that appears to be preferred for point and view, with the added benefit of tracking/GOTO functions when needed. The dilemma I suspect is that if I chose the less expensive 200P, then my motor options later are really something like the HEQ5 and remount the 200P, and that Is then less point and view (not as bad as I make out I suspect). So, with my mind set on the 200P, I'm just looking for a valued opinion on if the GOTO and extending tube that comes with that option are a better 1st go for me? I realise it's approx. £400 difference, but prepared to bite that bullet (I'm off to Vegas in May --- so that just means less to play with, or more I need to win... hmmm, and I am there for work!). Thanks folks.

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I personally chose not to save for the Goto. I wanted to learn the Sky/Constellations and how to find the Objects myself. It's a personal preference.

Edited by pel

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I understand that, thanks Perry. But I am a bit of a gadget geek: I am prepared to stick with the standard 200P but it wouldn't be too long before I just stumped up the cash for a new mount with motors just because they are more gadgetry, so with that in mind, looking for advice on that particular option. I will do my best to manually educate myself, with the occasional goto/track when showing off to friends and family... honest :rolleyes: .

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If you're a gadget freak, yes definitely go for the GoTo. After that you can look at controlling the thing from indoors with a laptop and EQMOD or control it from an I-pad with SkyWire or something similar.

I wanted to do astrophtography on the cheap, so I just went for the manual option with PHD guiding.

Yes, I bet you won't hardly use the Goto at all :grin: I wish I had Goto a lot when it's cold and I can't find the dim DSO's. It would be brilliant for locating the small planets too (Mercury, Uranus, Neptune).

Edited by pel

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Personally I'd get the 200 Dob as a learning kit and grab and go. When hooked and wiser I'd get the Heq5 pro mount, this'll take a 200 ota ,102 refractor, Cassegrain etc. It also is a useful astro photo mount.

It's a versatile accurate bit of kit that's easy to move around the garden or transport. There is however more background work with a GOTO, getting observing lists ready.

A basic Dob is a great way to learn the sky and the tricks of observing in the cold and dark,

Nick.

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On many a nights, after looking for an object a billion times and still not being able to find it. I wish i had goto lol.

But then again, the fun is in finding the object. I dont see the fun is just pressing a button, finding it, looking and moving onto the next target.

I would recommend following the path Nick has suggested above me

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Goto?

One word - Wixey, Wixey, Wixey (ok 3)

Where would I be without my Wixey for finding those toughies? Still looking, I suppose......

Barry

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hi

i also have a 200p dob manual and yes i enjoy star hopping looking for my self and finding things its more exciting , for me but in the future i would like a equatorial platform and use a wixey but it still gives me the freedom to go where i want to.

im not a geek i dont do teconology to well .

so for me just moving dobby around is most satisfiying

steve

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Another one for manual dob, I had a goto many years ago without doing much research, and I didn't quite realise all the additional equipment also needed, well namely a powertank.

Prefer the "point-and-shoot" method of a manual dob for now, plus I like hunting down my targets :smiley:

Regards,

m12

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Being a gadget geek myself, I was in the same boat as you when I chose to invest in my first 'proper' scope. Did i go for a dob or a goto dob? In the end I saved a few hundred and went for a 250PX Dob without goto. I think I made the best choice for me, as it taught me how to star hop and navigate the skies. In time i then went for a HEQ5 and a SW80ED for photography and use my dob for visual work.

The path I took worked for me, and I am pleased with my choices. Using a manual dob taught me so much about the skies. A good manual dob with a telrad finder and a decent atlas is a brilliant way into astronomy.

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I have a 200P manual dob. When I got it the plan was to get it on a HEQ5 Pro at some point in the future. Well that point has arrived but my plans have changed. Since getting a 4" refractor, which compliments my dob very nicely by the way, I've realised I don't want a HEQ5 any longer. I like the dob's alt/az simplicity so I'm keeping the dob as a dob and putting the refractor on an AZ-4 :)

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As a pair of gadget geeks we are very happy that we went for a manual Dob as that has given us the chance to play with extra gadgets to assist with finding as and when needed. Instead of one gadget 'rush' all at once you can 'play' with many new things as you try them out and see what works best for you. The options for extra gadgets include:

_ Wixey ( used with setting circle for best effect)

- Telrad or Rigel Quickfinder

- Smartphone ( if you are geek assume you have one) app, many free ones that allow 'point and see' handheld and some that work attached to your scope so are in effect GoTo's at no additional; cost e.g. SK Eye for Andriod.

And still works out cheaper ( and I would say better as now need for power packs etc.) than buying GoTo version in the first place.

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I should just update the post as I ended up going with the Az-eq6 mount and 250PDS OTA.

I have to agree that maybe the Dobsonian choice would have been easier to get into the hobby (physically), however being gadget mad, I'm very happy with my decision as I have been able to "lift" the mount+OTA out onto the patio and have had a few quick viewing sessions, albeit short ones, and seen the moon, Jupiter and it's 4 largest moons, and Sirius, and been amazed -- just with the stock 28mm eyepiece. I'll be aquiring a few more eyepieces next week (2.3, 5, 13 and 22).

I did get my android phone hooked up via bluetooth (bluetooth to serial adapater from ebay) to the mount, using SkySafari -- and appears to work after I updated the handset firmware... just need a good clear evening to setup and verify it really works but in the living room it appeared to. :grin:

I have made a trolley mount that the setup is now sitting on -- makes it easier if I want to move it to another room, and should be OK for viewing on.... seems sturdy enough but I guess when I try the new 2.3mm eyepiece with a 500+ magnifcation, wobbles will be wobbles and maybe the trolley idea may not be sturdy enough.... Guess I'll see after next week.

I really did appreciate all the comments and feedback to my questions. I did get the book suggested, Making Every Photon Count, then ordered the mount as I decided that would do me nicely for time to come -- but, I am thinking of making a Dob' mount to occasionally use with the OTA (just maybe - unlikley but if I get into AP with a refractor using this mount, I'd like something for the 250 PDS OTA to sit on and be useful).

A few pictures of the unboxing and mounted setup and the trolley base are posted in my gallery for anyone to take a look at.

Tahnsk again all, and happy cloudless nights to all.

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